Friday, June 30, 2017

You Can Upscale Carnations To Look Like Expensive Flowers

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Do you hate carnations?
If so, you are not alone.  I used to hate them too!

People....it is time to stop your flower snobbery and consider this lowly flower.

As flowers go, you can’t find more affordable and long-lasting bloom...or one that come in such a wide array of fantastic colors.  (NO....not the strange dyed colors....but the real ones)





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If you want an upscaled look for carnations....you have to think beyond sticking one flower in a bud vase....

In fact.....there are ways to make carnations resemble expensive flowers like Hydrangeas and Peonies!

I bet that got your attention!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Get Your Flowers in Condition to Last!

If you don't know the term flower conditioning, then this is the post for you!

 You don't need exercise equipment to condition your flowers.....

Conditioning means preparing cut plants/flowers before arranging them.

The right conditioning for the right flowers makes all the difference.

Taking the extra time to condition your blooms pays off with the extra time you will be able to enjoy your gorgeous flowers.



Here are a couple of examples of how conditioning makes a difference:

Monday, June 12, 2017

I Am SO Manipulating and Proud of It!


I have been playing around with using leaves in interesting ways in floral arrangements.
Who Knew?
That is called leaf manipulation!
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Oh sure....manipulation almost always gets a bad rap....and for good reason most of the time.
But if you read definition 1. below, you discover that manipulation is about skill.



ma·nip·u·la·tion
noun
noun: manipulation; plural noun: manipulation
  1. the action of manipulating something in a skillful manner.

    "the format allows fast picture manipulation"
  2.       the action of manipulating someone in a clever or unscrupulous way.

    "there was no deliberate manipulation of visitors' emotions"

Here at Sweetwater.....I have been very manipulating Hosta leaves in floral arrangements.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Enchantment in June-Peony Pride!

If you remember, my word for 2017 is enchantment!
June...and the Peony Garden here at Sweetwater is "bustin' out all over"!
Those pretty, perfect, plump, profuse blooms are where I am finding enchantment right now.
This post is about images.....and very few words.

Enjoy....

Friday, June 2, 2017

Ground Covers Everyone Needs!


Have you seen the price of plants?
Oh My.....
We went to the garden center yesterday.
We were in awe of the folks with carts loaded to overflowing with annuals and perennials.
Our little cart with just a few plants ended up costing almost $50....for like almost nothing!

The gardens at Sweetwater cover a lot of ground.
One thrifty solution if you have a lot of ground to cover.....is....get yourself some ground covers!




ground cov·er
ˈɡround ˈˌkəvər/
noun
noun: ground cover; plural noun: ground covers;
  1. low-growing, spreading plants that help to stop weeds from growing.


Here is a round-up of the GOOD ground covers that work around here.



Pachysandra – Another popular shade ground cover is pachysandra. Pachysandra reaches up to a foot in height and has large dark green leaves. These are great as a filler for foundation gardens that include larger bushes. As ground covers for shade go, pachysandra is perfect for these areas because it can cover the ground under the bushes and prevent weeds and other things from growing, giving your foundation garden a neat look.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Learn More About Ground Covers For Shade https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/shade/ground-covers-for-shade.htm

Bugleweed (Ajuga)—The leaves of the Ajuga are such pretty colors. It is a good spreader....sometimes it spreads right into the grass! The purple flowers that appear in late spring to early summer don't last long but they are pretty.  The photo above is the way it looks right now....guess it should be dead headed!


  




Ginger (Asarum)—I love the mounds of Wild Ginger that have cropped up throughout the shadiest parts of the garden.  This is strictly a foliage plant.....it has these cool looking "flowers" at the base of the plants....except you can hardly see them.  The leaves of this plant stand up well in cut flower arrangements.

 







Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla)—This one has such pretty soft-green leaves and forms mounds that spread well. Once established, it is super hardy.  The chartreuse flowers look a little like green Baby's Breath.  They bloom at the same time as my Peonies and are really pretty mixed into those bouquets.  This one does need dead heading and pruning back around the 4th of July around here.  Otherwise the leaves look a little brittle.

  1. Lamium (Lamium maculatum)—I have these pretties sprouting up everywhere in the shady woodsy areas of the garden.  I somehow got 3 or 4 different varieties.  The flowers are early bright spots in the garden.  This is a great plant to pull up and plant in pots for early color before you can plant annuals.  I let it bloom then pull it out like weeds over the summer.  It always makes a reappearance.
  1. Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)—I love this glossy evergreen plant.  It actually stays green all winter....even here in the frozen tundra.  If you can get this to grow....you can cover a lot of ground :). I often use the leaves of pachysandra as the base for floral arrangements. 
Stonecrop (sedum)- There are so many of varieties of sedum that make great gound covers.  I am not sure of the name of the variety that grows around in our gardens....but it is certainly a hardy one.  I use this for fill in large planters that will be in full sun.  Love the yellow flowers that will come in a couple of weeks.

Fern-  If you have shade and a lot of space, then ferns are a good ground cover.  Our fern bed started with 3 little ones and now has taken over a pretty big area.  Ferns are a great cover up for things like our compost bin.  I am always careful walking through the ferns this time of year.  Sometimes the mother deer will bed her fawns down under them....a perfect hiding place.  My goodness....in this photo our ferns look more like a jungle than the woodlands!


Creeping Thyme-  This sun lover is often called a steppable.  It grows in a dense mat on top of the rocks here.  I love the purple flowers that are just starting to bloom.  I try to transplant this to other areas and sometimes I am successful.....but if you can plant it in an area that you step on....the smell is amazing.


These are my favorite ground covers....what are yours?
I would love to try some new ones!

Have A Great Day!

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A Morning Cup of Joe
Pachysandra – Another popular shade ground cover is pachysandra. Pachysandra reaches up to a foot in height and has large dark green leaves. These are great as a filler for foundation gardens that include larger bushes. As ground covers for shade go, pachysandra is perfect for these areas because it can cover the ground under the bushes and prevent weeds and other things from growing, giving your foundation garden a neat look.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Learn More About Ground Covers For Shade https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/shade/ground-covers-for-shade.htm
Pachysandra – Another popular shade ground cover is pachysandra. Pachysandra reaches up to a foot in height and has large dark green leaves. These are great as a filler for foundation gardens that include larger bushes. As ground covers for shade go, pachysandra is perfect for these areas because it can cover the ground under the bushes and prevent weeds and other things from growing, giving your foundation garden a neat look.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Learn More About Ground Covers For Shade https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/shade/ground-covers-for-shade.htm
Pachysandra is a favorite ground cover plant in hard-to-plant areas such as under trees, or in shady areas with poor or acidic soil. Unlike other plants, pachysandra ground cover does not mind competing for its nutrients, and growing pachysandra plants is easy if you have an abundance of shade in your landscape

Read more at Gardening Know How: Growing Pachysandra Plants – How To Plant Pachysandra Ground Cover https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/groundcover/pachysandra/pachysandra-ground-cover.htm